The authors conducted a study to determine whether cognitive functioning of patients with presumed low-grade glioma is associated with white matter (WM) tract changes.
The authors included 77 patients with presumed low-grade glioma who underwent awake surgery between 2005 and 2013. Diffusion tensor imaging with deterministic tractography was performed preoperatively to identify the arcuate, inferior frontooccipital, and uncinate fasciculi and to obtain the mean fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity per tract. All patients were evaluated preoperatively using an extensive neuropsychological protocol that included assessments of the language, memory, and attention/executive function domains. Linear regression models were used to analyze each cognitive domain and each diffusion tensor imaging metric of the 3 WM tracts.
Significant correlations (corrected for multiple testing) were found between FA of the arcuate fasciculus and results of the repetition test for the language domain (β = 0.59, p < 0.0001) and between FA of the inferior frontooccipital fasciculus and results of the imprinting test for the memory domain (β = −0.55, p = 0.002) and the attention test for the attention and executive function domain (β = −0.62, p = 0.006).
In patients with glioma, language deficits in repetition of speech, imprinting, and attention deficits are associated with changes in the microarchitecture of the arcuate and inferior frontooccipital fasciculi.